We chatted to Sera Maehara about reprising her role as Liat in Daniel Evans’ production of South Pacific.
How does it feel to be part of this production once again?
I feel very grateful to be back in this show. The process is very exciting, it’s not just coming back to what we found last year, but also discovering new approaches and adjusting to what feels right for us this year.
What can audiences (who have never seen South Pacific) expect from the show?
This show is full of thrilling dancing, iconic songs, and brilliant acting. This production is set in 1943, but this show has a strong message for today. What Bloody Mary represents in this show is very rich and profound. I hope this show brings you some hope and joy.
Could you tell me more about your character Liat?
She is a Tonkinese girl who grew up on an island called Bali Ha’i. I adore her deep connection with nature and her willingness to trust and to see good in a person who’s completely different from her. In this show, Daniel and Ann [choreographer Ann Yee], decided to offer Liat movement vocabulary to express herself, not just a muted love interest. I think this choice is very clever and I love exploring her character through dancing.
What for you makes this musical special?
Daniel and Ann are such welcoming and caring people, and I completely trust their direction. The cast is lovely and the creative team is very supportive. For me, Liat is already a part of me, being an Asian and being a dancer, we have so much in common. This show, I believe, opens up the conversation that we usually put aside, and I’m very proud of that.
Have you a favourite part of the show?
My favourite number is ‘Nothing Like a Dame’, it’s sensational. The costumes for the female ensemble are gorgeous, and Gina [Beck] singing ‘Wonderful Guy’ is just joyous. So many stage directions that are amusing to watch. I can’t name them all!
Why would you recommend people come along and see this production?
This golden age production is beautifully written. You will know the songs, the plot is brilliant, and this is an outstanding production to share in our times too. We opened in Manchester last Saturday, and I’m thankful that we had a big standing ovation. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you!
By Emma Clarendon
To find out more about the show visit: https://southpacificshow.com/